Anyone and everyone can produce smoked and cured products at home, and they offer so much value to the keen cook. It’s a skill that enables you to take good ingredients and turn them into great ingredients with minimum effort. Getting to grips with the basics of smoking and curing will really expand your knowledge of food and increase your repertoire of dishes. Friends and family will be impressed, full of praise and compliments, and more than willing to enjoy sharing your homemade salami and pancetta with you!
In the simplest of terms, curing and smoking both preserves and flavours meat and fish using salt and (without meaning to state the obvious) smoke. However, it encompasses craft, tradition, science and a little bit of sorcery! Dry curing, brining, hot and cold smoking are brilliant techniques that take you one delicious step beyond your average recipe.
These skills need not be daunting, (especially when you’ve got someone like Steve Lamb from River Cottage to teach you!) but they do set you off on a new learning curve. The processes are fun, and a nice,relaxing activity to do on a lazy day with the family (they are quite a good way of keeping younger family members occupied for a little while, too!) and will unlock the secrets of some of our best-loved, most useful ingredients, and your weekend brunches will be totally transformed – bacon, air-dried ham, smoked salmon and kippers!
If you’re keen to have a go and spend a Day on the Farm with us, then have a look at our new workshop with Steve Lamb on February 9th – he’ll be teaching the basics of smoking and curing from our brand new Butchery & Larder.